Galle is a one of a kind city where you can travel into the dutch colonial era in an instance. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this historic city is an absolute pleasure to explore, with surprises hidden in every corner. The city is dotted with imposing Dutch-colonial buildings, ancient mosques and churches, grand mansions and museums. Wandering its narrow lanes you'll pass stylish cafe's, boutiques and impeccably restored hotels owned by local and foreign artists, writers, photographers and designers.
Galle Fort is an ancient fort built by the Portuguese in the 1500’s. It is located in the bay of Galle in the southern coastal district of Galle - around 2 hours drive from the Colombo city via the Southern Express highway. The fort was initially constructed with the alliance of the then King. However, notable changes were also made after the fort changed hands to the Dutch in the year 1640 with the help of King Rajasinghe II. After the occupation of Dutch, the fort was reconstructed to favor the Dutch rule in the area. The fort was under the hands of Dutch until the 18th century invasion of the British. After the independence, this UNESCO World heritage site has been extensively maintained by the Sri Lankan government Archeological Department which gives it a polished appearance. The forts mixed ancient history and the fights for its occupation has definitely left the place colonially colorful; attracting tourists from around the world to this wonderment for which the Europeans fought.
The Japanese Nipponzan-Myōhōji order has constructed over 80 stupas around the world out of which four are located in Sri Lanka. The famous Japanese Peace Pagoda is located in Unawatuna, on the Rummassala hills. This is a Buddhist shrine with the breathtaking view of the sea of Unawatuna. It was gifted to Sri Lanka by the Japanese Nipponzan-Myōhōji order. These monuments stand to inspire peace amongst all people and creatures of Sri Lanka. A peaceful place built for peace.
The National Maritime Archaeology Museum of Sri Lanka is located in Galle - two hours drive from Colombo. It is famous for its collection of boat models, maps, artilleries and shipwrecks. The Museum itself is a renovated 1600’s Dutch warehouse. The museum was destroyed in the 2004 Tsunami and much of it’s possessions have been damaged or lost. However, with the help of the government of Netherlands the museum has been restored and the museum reopened in 2010. If you are interested in ancient history of Sri Lanka. This is a place that you should definitely visit in down south Sri Lanka.
The Galle National Museum of Sri Lanka is one of the many national museums in the country. The museum is located in a renovated Dutch building from the 1600’s and encompasses some of the oldest artefacts from the Portuguese, Dutch and British era. The museum is divided into three galleries - first exhibits the traditional cottage industries in the region; the second exhibits a collection of Dutch furniture and artillery and the third - “the Sri Lanka Chinese Friendship Gallery” - stands for the long standing trade relationship of China with Sri Lanka. The turtle shell jewellery is one of the fascinating exhibits that you could find in the museum along with some of the other ornaments made out of turtle shell.However, currently the turtle shell ornaments are illegal in Sri Lanka. A fascinating visit for history lovers!